Second Presidential Debate Will Be Virtual to 'Protect the Health and Safety of All'

President Donald Trump has pulled out of the second presidential debate following the news it will be held virtually. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) made the announcement in a statement on Thursday.

During an interview on Fox News, the president cited the possibility that the moderator could cut him off.

"I heard that the commission a little while ago changed the debate style," Trump said. "That's not acceptable to us. I'm not going to do a virtual debate. I'm not gonna waste my time on a virtual debate, that's not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do it, debates? Ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want.

The debate is scheduled to take place on October 15 in Miami, Florida and take the form of a town hall.

"In order to protect the health and safety of all, the second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations," the CPD said.

"I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate" -- Trump, on with Maria Bartiromo, begins his first post-coronavirus interview by saying he's pulling out of the second debate. (He sounds a little hoarse.)

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2020

Debate moderator Steve Scully of C-SPAN and participants in the town hall will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami as planned but the candidates will contribute remotely.

The decision comes following President Donald Trump's positive test for COVID-19 and his brief stay in Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment. There have also been calls for the president not to attend if he is still testing positive for the virus. Despite his diagnosis, Trump has said he wants to debate former Vice President Joe Biden in person.

This article has been updated to include information on President Trump's decision to drop out of the debate.

Trump and Biden at the First Debate
U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden look out to the audience at end of the first presidential debate at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. The second debate will now be virtual. Win McNamee/Getty Images